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Corporate Sponsorship and Its Role in Saving Education

By Dan Kowitz Feb 9, 2010

A spelling bee in Livingston County, Ill. was recently cancelled because the local paper, The Pantagraph announced it was not able to sponsor the event this year.

That seems to beg a much larger question: Why are so many school districts across the country not able to fund programs, particularly in arts, music and in this case a spelling bee?

As it almost always is, it’s about the money. Many school districts around the country are having a hard time finding the funds to support programs outside of the basic class curricula, such as math and science. This leaves them having to cut something, and music and the arts seem to get hit most, and sometimes sports get cut as well. Although it can be controversial, this is where corporate sponsorship can save the day.

How would you feel about this scenario: Corporation X decides it will title sponsor the new high school football stadium for $1 million. The dollars generated from that deal would fund all of the arts, music and spelling bee activities for all levels of education in the entire school district for the next three years. If the taxpayers and the school district cannot figure out how to come up with funds to save these programs, I am all for this deal.

For some, this scenario feels like we are allowing companies to market directly to kids, but don’t we already do this by allowing vending machines in schools? While the direct role and marketing activities of companies sponsoring schools should be heavily monitored, the dollars can save the day.

For all we know, the funds generated could very well produce the next Mozart. So come on corporate America, step up and save the Livingston County Spelling Bee!

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